Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 8 October 2007, Official Report, columns 61-62W, on Afghanistan peacekeeping operations, how many contacts were recorded between British forces and insurgents in Southern Afghanistan in each month since February 2008. 
Des Browne: The number of direct engagements (regardless of the instigator) between ISAF forces and insurgents in Helmand Province per month between 1 February and 13 May 2008, the most recent date for which corroborated information is available, are as follows:
|2008||Number of contacts|
These data are based on information derived from a number of sources and can only be an estimate, not least because of the difficulties in ensuring a consistent interpretation of the basis for collating statistics in a complex fast-moving multinational operational environment.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following table shows the number of applications received by armed forces careers offices, specifying pilot as preferred career, the total number of personnel who were selected for basic pilot training (all initially considered as potential fast-jet pilots) and those who were later streamed for fast-jet training, for both the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy (RN) following the completion of basic training.
|n/a = Not available.|
Data has been obtained from the TAFMIS (Training Administration and Financial Management Information System) computer system which was introduced in 2003. Recruitment data prior to 2003 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Derek Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 17 December 2007, Official Report, columns 1022-23W. Although the publication of the MOD childcare policy is now not expected until later in the summer, further work is continuing in this area in preparation for the Service Personnel Command Paper.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The number of full-time equivalent staff employed by AWE plc in each year since 2003 is shown in the following table. Except for 2003, when different reporting periods were in place, the figures are taken as at the end of March. The figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
|(1 )As at end April.|
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to his Department was of providing (a) military personnel and (b) civilian staff attached to the (i) European Union military staff, (ii) European Defence Agency, (iii) European Union Military Committee and (iv) other EU institutions in 2007. 
Des Browne: The total cost to the Department of the military personnel and MOD civilian staff attached to the European Union Military Staff, European Union Military Committee and other EU institutions was £1.7 million in 2007.
Military personnel and MOD civilian staff attached to the European Defence Agency (EDA) are paid directly by the EDA from its functioning budget, which covers all of the operating costs of the Agency. The UK's contribution to the EDA's functioning budget was €2.9 million (£2.07 million) in 2007.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: A single food supply contract was let in October 2006, for the supply of food to UK armed forces personnel for "in barracks" feeding in UK and Germany (for personnel not fed under the Pay As You Dine programme) and to UK armed forces personnel serving on operations and some overseas exercises. Other catering arrangements are managed locally by Front Line Commands and other MOD units, and this information is not held centrally.
|Financial year||Supplier||Spend (£ million)|
Approximately 65 per cent. of this is sourced from British suppliers. This percentage varies as a result of seasonality, value for money incentives, weather extremes and import/export restrictions. The country of origin of some products is indeterminate because they are manufactured using a number of ingredients, and other products, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, are sourced seasonally from a variety of countries. It is not possible to break this figure down for the last five years.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence from which five countries of origin the greatest amount of food was procured by his Department in the last year for which figures are available; and what the (a) cost and (b) quantity procured was in each case. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: A new food supply contract was let in October 2006. This contract provides for the supply of food to UK armed forces personnel for in barracks feeding in UK and Germany (for personnel not fed under the Pay As You Dine programme) and to UK armed forces personnel serving on operations and some overseas exercises. Through this contract, approximately 65 per cent. of food has been sourced from British suppliers. The remaining 35 per cent. of food is sourced from a number of worldwide countries although these vary through the year due to seasonality, availability or market forces.
The restructuring of Five General Service Medical Regiment will result in one Regular Company from both 253 Medical Regiment (V) and 254 Medical Regiment (V) being based at Fulwood Barracks from April 2009.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth:
The numbers of Typhoon, Tornado GR, Tornado F3 and Harrier aircraft that are in service, in the Forward Available Fleet (FAF) and considered Fit For Purpose (FFP) are detailed in the following table. FAF aircraft are those that are available to the front-line command for operational and training purposes; aircraft undergoing scheduled depth maintenance, or planned routine fleet maintenance are not included.
Aircraft defined as FFP are those considered capable of carrying out their planned missions on a given date; this does not include aircraft undergoing short-term forward maintenance and other minor works. The FAF and FFP figures shown are the average for the financial year to end May 2008, and have been rounded to the nearest whole number.
|Number in service as at 31 May 2008||Average number of aircraft in Forward Available Fleet||Average number of aircraft Fit for Purpose|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|